mother's guilt

By: Stephanie K

I ate the placenta and the umbilical cord

(and i ate and i ate).

I tasted the iron on my teeth

(it stained until i swallowed and i swallowed the hydrogen peroxide).

The flavor of Pantone color 2449 coated the inside of my mouth and left a metal trail (my mother always told me and told me and told me to stop eating nickels, but it’s a tough habit to break)

it’s easy to take candy from a baby, but when i sucked the calcium from its bones, i realized that it’s easier for a baby to take from me (my humanity; my innocence; my weakness).

I cursed (and I cursed and I cursed)

that baby for what it stole from me, but that baby had already been cursed by the world.

When i see that baby again it will ask

(no, it will mock and it will mock)

“Who’s the baby now?”